In the lead up to Copenhagen it was repeatedly said that this was “the last chance to save the climate”. This idea was
constructed on an assumption about “business as usual”. If emissions continue to grow on current trends then, with little time left to put on the brakes and decarbonise the global economy at a sufficient rate, the task appears to be totally unfeasible.
With many scientists credibly arguing that we are already over the safe limit for greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere this may be true. There is now a good case that we need to go beyond decarbonising in the economy to actually finding technologies and processes to take CO2 that is already in the atmosphere out again.
So is the situation now quite hopeless? Perhaps so… but perhaps not. A reason for being at least a little bit hopeful is the questionable assumption of what “business as usual” will be like. The common assumption is that the global economy will continue to grow as it has done over the last few decades. But is this assumption true in the light of peak oil and peak gas? Keep reading